Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

A few days ago, a friend who was actually my locker partner in 7th grade posted that she was going to make strawberry balsamic ice cream. I wanted the recipe, she didn't have one "yet," so I decided to try making my own.

It all started with a trip with to Beechwood Farms in Marietta to pick strawberries with two of the amazing foodies I happen to work with. I wanted to make fresh strawberry ice cream, but I have struggled with getting to the right texture.

While I researched strawberry balsamic recipes, I came across a little tidbit that said that adding alcohol to ice cream helps it not get as hard. I imagine this has something to do with ice crystals, but I won't pretend to understand it exactly. I was willing to try anything.

I did not find a recipe that was all that inspiring, so I decided instead to adapt one from Alice Waters, since I have been trying to make the recipes from her cookbook, "The Art of Simple Food." The end result was interesting. I probably should have mashed the strawberries finer because the bigger pieces wrapped around the spinning parts of the ice cream maker, but I loved the texture in this ice cream. The balsamic I added (probably a bit too much) added so much depth of flavor, and the alcohol added both depth and did help the hardness issue. However the ice cream didn't make pretty scoops, so I still have more experimenting to do.

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream
Adapted from Alice Waters' recipe for Strawberry Ice Cream, and a marvelous idea from an old friend.

In a small bowl whisk briefly, just enough to break up:
3 egg yolks

Measure into a heavy-bottomed pot:
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar

Set a strainer over a heat-proof bowl. Heat the half-n-half over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When hot, whisk a little of the hot half-and-half into the egg yolks and then whisk the warmed yolks into the hot mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and quickly strain.

3/4 cup heavy cream

Cover the mixture and chill.

Wash, dry, and hull:
1 1/2 pints strawberries

Mash with a potato masher or puree in a food mill. Stir in:
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp kirsch

Let the strawberries macerate in their own juices, stirring occasionally until the sugar has melted. Add the berries to the cold cream mixture and flavor with:

A couple drops of vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

Chill thoroughly, and freeze in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Categories: Balsamic, Ice Cream, Strawberry


anna said...

Yum! I just made a strawberry-rhubarb ice cream so this definitely sounds good to me! I also add a couple Tbsp of alcohol to my ice cream to help it stay soft. Sometimes it works better than others - I find if I use something sugary and flavored as opposed to plain vodka I get a softer ice cream, but then it might just be individual recipes. It helps a lot when you're doing it all sans ice cream machine, too!

Rachel said...

This looks great and sounds like the flavors would be very interesting. I like the tip about the alcohol.

Now I'm so curious to see what balsamic in my ice cream taste like!

Diana said...

Ooh that sounds amazing! I love balsamic vinegar with fresh strawberries so I'm sure it's delicious in ice cream.

Cakelaw said...

This icecream sounds delicious! Great job, especially on the research (have to try that alcohol in icecream trick).

Michele said...

This looks just amazing!

Hannah said...

I just love strawberries with balsamic vinegar... This ice cream sounds incredible! Such a great idea. :)

Jude said...

fresh strawberries with good balsamic is one of those things i look forward to when in season. Great idea to make an ice cream out of thos flavors.

Anonymous said...

I just made this recipe. It was so yummy. Probably the best homemade ice cream I have made. The flavors were to die for and the texture of the ice cream was so smooth and fluffy. I did not put the alcohol in it and it was great without. This recipe is a definite repeat!!! Thanks for sharing